The eighteenth century was a time of brilliant philosophical innovation in Britain. In Of Liberty and Necessity James A. Harris presents the first comprehensive account of the period's discussion of what remains a central problem of philosophy, the question of the freedom of the will. He offers new interpretations of contributions to the free will debate made by canonical figures such as Locke, Hume, Edwards, and Reid, and also discusses in detail the arguments of some less familiar writers. (...) class='Hi'>Harris puts the eighteenth-century debate about the will and its freedom in the context of the period's concern with applying what Hume calls the "experimental method of reasoning" to the human mind. His book will be of substantial interest to historians of philosophy and anyone concerned with the free will problem. (shrink)
In this paper I consider the context and significance of the first instalment of Hume's A Treatise of Human Nature , Books One and Two, on the understanding and on the passions, published in 1739 without Book Three. I argue that Books One and Two taken together should be read as addressing the question of the relation between reason and passion, and place Hume's discussion in the context of a large early modern philosophical literature on the topic. Hume's goal is (...) to show that the passions do not require government by reason, and to illustrate various ways in which the passions of social beings regulate themselves. The underlying theme of the first Treatise is thus a new theory of sociability: sympathetic sociability. (shrink)
Increasingly, the role of health research in improving the discrepancies in health outcomes between Indigenous and non-Indigenous populations in developed countries is being recognised. Along with this comes the recognition that health research must be conducted in a manner that is culturally appropriate and ethically sound. Two key documents have been produced in Australia, known as The Road Map and The Guidelines, to provide theoretical and philosophical direction to the ethics of Indigenous health research. These documents identify research themes considered (...) critical to improving the health of the nation’s Indigenous peoples. They also provide values that, from an Indigenous perspective, are foundational to an ethical research process. This paper examines these research themes and values within the context of a current longitudinal birth cohort study of Indigenous infants and children in south-west Sydney: the Gudaga Study. Considerable time and effort have been invested in being true to the values stated in these documents: reciprocity; respect; equality; responsibility; survival and protection; and spirit and integrity. We have learnt that it is vital to be true to these values when conducting Indigenous health research—to quite literally “walk the talk”. (shrink)
We present evidence indicating new individual differences with people's intuitions about the relation of determinism to freedom and moral responsibility. We analysed participants' written explanations of why a person acted. Participants offered one of either 'decision' or 'causal' based explanations of behaviours in some paradigmatic cases. Those who gave causal explanations tended to have more incompatibilist intuitions than those who gave decision explanations. Importantly, the affective content of a scenario influenced the type of explanation given. Scenarios containing highly affective actions (...) (e.g. murder) tended to generate more decision explanations than scenarios with low affective content (e.g. cheating on taxes). These results give important clues about the proximal processes generating some intuitions about free will and moral responsibility. (shrink)
Manchester's multi-disciplinary approach to medical ethics combines established methods and new initiatives. There is a longstanding Medical Group and also, plans are evolving for the inclusion of medical ethics teaching in the undergraduate curriculum, the start of an MA in Health Care Ethics in October 1987 and the establishment of the Centre for Social Ethics and Policy to act as a focus within the university for research and study in a wider context.
Empirical studies in business ethics often rely on self-reported data, but this reliance is open to criticism. Responses to questionnaires and interviews may be influenced by the subject''s view of what the researcher might want to hear, by a reluctance to talk about sensitive ethical issues, and by imperfect recall. This paper reviews the extent to which published research in business ethics relies on interviews and questionnaires, and then explores the possibilities of using secondary data, such as company documents and (...) newspaper reports, as a source for empirical studies in applied ethics. A specific example is then discussed, describing the source material, the method, the development of the research questions, and the way in which reliability and validity were established. In the example, content analysis was used to examine the extent to which the executive virtue of courage was observed or called for in items published in four international daily newspapers, and to explore the meaning which was attributed to "courage" in the papers. (shrink)
John Harris has previously proposed that there is a moral duty to participate in scientific research. This concept has recently been challenged by Iain Brassington, who asserts that the principles cited by Harris in support of the duty to research fail to establish its existence. In this paper we address these criticisms and provide new arguments for the existence of a moral obligation to research participation. This obligation, we argue, arises from two separate but related principles. The principle (...) of fairness obliges us to support the social institutions which sustain us, of which research is one; while the principle of beneficence, or the duty of rescue, imposes upon us a duty to prevent harm to others, including by supporting potentially beneficial, even life-saving research. We argue that both these lines of argument support the duty to research, and explore further aspects of this duty, such as to whom it is owed and how it might be discharged. (shrink)
What is the nature of children's trust in testimony? Is it based primarily on evidential correlations between statements and facts, as stated by Hume, or does it derive from an interest in the trustworthiness of particular speakers? In this essay, we explore these questions in an effort to understand the developmental course and cognitive bases of children's extensive reliance on testimony. Recent work shows that, from an early age, children monitor the reliability of particular informants, differentiate between those who make (...) true and false claims and keep that differential accuracy in mind when evaluating new information from these people. We argue that this selective trust is likely to involve the mentalistic appraisal of speakers rather than surface generalizations of their behavior. Finally, we review the significance of children's deference to adult authority on issues of naming and categorization. In addition to challenging a purely inductive account of trust, these and other findings reflect a potentially rich set of tools brought by children to the task of learning from people's testimony. (shrink)
In Reason's Grief, George Harris takes W. B. Yeats's comment that we begin to live only when we have conceived life as tragedy as a call for a tragic ethics, something the modern West has yet to produce. He argues that we must turn away from religious understandings of tragedy and the human condition and realize that our species will occupy a very brief period of history, at some point to disappear without a trace. We must accept an ethical (...) perspective that avoids pernicious fantasies about ultimate redemption but that sees tragic loss as a permanent and pervasive aspect of our daily lives, yet finds a way to think, feel, and act with both passion and hope. Reason's Grief takes us back through the history of our thinking about value to find our way. The call is for nothing less than a paradigm shift for understanding both tragedy and ethics. (shrink)
There are gaps in the Social and Ethical issues literature regarding the structure of individual ethical reasoning and the process through which personal ethical standards erode or decline. Social Penetration Theory may be used to view ethical issues of low, moderate, or high salience. It also produces a model of the process by which an individual turns to less desirable ethical reasoning and behavior.
It is shown that belief in providence and a future state are key components of Hutcheson’s account of moral virtue. Though Hutcheson holds that human beings are naturally virtuous, religion is necessary to give virtuous dispositions support and stability. The aspects of Hutcheson’s moral psychology which lead him to this conclusion are spelled out in detail. It is argued that religion and virtue are connected in this way in both the Dublin writings (the Inquiry and the Essay ) and the (...) later pedagogical texts, and that, therefore, there are reasons to question claims made by James Moore to the effect that Hutcheson had two distinct philosophical “systems.”. (shrink)
In this article I am concerned with whether it could be morally significant to distinguish between doing something 'in order to bring about an effect' as opposed to 'doing something because we will bring about an effect'. For example, the Doctrine of Double Effect (DDE) tells us that we should not act in order to bring about evil, but even if this is true is it perhaps permissible to act only because an evil will thus occur? I discuss these questions (...) in connection with a version of the so-called Trolley Problem known as the Loop Case. I also consider how these questions may bear on whether a rational agent must aim at an event which he believes is causally necessary to achieve an end he pursues. (shrink)
In this issue of CQ we introduce a new feature, in which noted bioethicists are invited to reflect on vital current issues. Our first invitee, John Harris, will subsequently assume editorship of this section.
The report from the Organ Donation Taskforce looking at the potential impact of an opt-out system for deceased donor organ donation in the UK, published in November 2008, is probably the most comprehensive and systematic inquiry to date into the issues and considerations which might affect the availability of deceased donor organs for clinical transplantation. By the end of a thorough and transparent process, a clear consensus was reached. The taskforce rejected the idea of an opt-out system. In this article (...) we acknowledge the life saving potential of organ transplants and seek to highlight the difficulties that arise when the issue of organ shortage competes with concerns over choice and authorisation in the context of deceased donor organ donation. (shrink)
This paper discusses the attempt in this issue of the journal by Peter Singer, John McKie, Helga Kuhse and Jeff Richardson, to defend QALYs against the argument from double jeopardy which I first outlined in 1987. In showing how the QALY and other similar measures which combine life expectancy and quality of life and use these to justify particular allocations of health care resource, remain vulnerable to the charge of double jeopardy I am able to clarify some of the central (...) issues concerning the value of life. In particular, the idea that the value of a life varies with its life expectancy and with its quality, understood in terms of its richness, variety, success etc, is subjected to special examination. It is shown how defenders of QALYs are committed to the view that so far from all lives being of equal value, all lives are necessarily of subtly different value. The paper then analyses the use to which the notorious 'veil of ignorance' has been put both by Singer et al and by others and shows how this device of John Rawls's cannot do the work so often assigned to it. The paper then considers the issue of hypothetical consent and the role that it can play in justifying disposing of the lives of people who have not in fact consented to their lives being disposed of in particular ways. Finally, the paper makes some points about the comprehensive nature of the data collection and storage which would be required by QALY advocates and points out the independent problems attaching to licensing such comprehensive collection and use of personal data. (shrink)
This study examines the ethical values of respondents by level in the organizational hierarchy of a single firm. It also explores the possible impacts of gender, education and years of experience on respondents' values as well as their perceptions of how the organization and professional associations influence their personal values. Results showed that, although there were differences in individuals' ethical values by hierarchical level, significantly more differences were observed by the length of tenure with the organization. While respondents, as a (...) whole, were rather ambivalent in their perception of the organization's and professional associations' influence on their values, sales/service persons frequently felt pressured to modify their values in order to achieve company goals. (shrink)
A transnational capitalist class (TCC) has emerged as that segment of the world bourgeoisie that represents transnational capital, the owners of the leading worldwide means of production as embodied in the transnational corporations and private financial institutions. The spread of TNCs, the sharp increase in foreign direct investment, the proliferation of mergers and acquisitions across national borders, the rise of a global financial system, and the increased interlocking of positions within the global corporate structure, are some empirical indicators of the (...) transnational integration of capitalists. The TCC manages global rather than national circuits of accumulation. This gives it an objective class existence and identity spatially and politically in the global system above any local territories and polities. The TCC became politicized from the 1970s into the 1990s and has pursued a class project of capitalist globalization institutionalized in an emergent transnational state apparatus and in a "Third Way" political program. The emergent global capitalist historic bloc is divided over strategic issues of class rule and how to achieve regulatory order in the global economy. Contradictions within the ruling bloc open up new opportunities for emancipatory projects from global labor. (shrink)
John Locke (1632-1704) is a central figure in the history of thought, and in liberal doctrine especially. This major study brings a range of his wider views to bear upon his political theory. Every political theorist has a vision, a view about the basic features of life and society, as well as technique which mediates this into propositions about politics. Locke's vision spanned questions concerning Christian worship, ethics, political economy, medicine, the human understanding, revealed theology and education. This study shows (...) how the character of these wider concerns informed Two Treatises of Government, especially in respect of a view of divine teleology, and situated a distinctive view of politics which treated the state and the church in parallel terms. (shrink)
In the absence of an objective contingency, psychological studies have shown that people nevertheless attribute outcomes to their own actions. Thus, by wrongly inferring control in chance situations people appear to hold false beliefs concerning their agency, and are said to succumb to an illusion of control (IoC). In the current article, we challenge traditional conceptualizations of the illusion by examining the thesis that the IoC reflects rational and adaptive decision making. Firstly, we propose that the IoC is a by-product (...) of a rational uncertain judgment (“the likelihood that I have control over a particular outcome”). We adopt a Bayesian perspective to demonstrate that, given their past experience, people should be prone to ascribing skill to chance outcomes in certain situations where objectively control does not exist. Moreover, existing empirical evidence from the IoC literature is shown to support such an account. Secondly, from a decision-theoretic perspective, in many consequential situations, underestimating the chance of controlling a situation carries more costs than overestimating that chance. Thus, situations will arise in which people will incorrectly assign control to events in which outcomes result from chance, but the attribution is based on rational processes. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: Introduction. -- Acknowledgments. -- The Author. -- 1 Ethical Theories and Bioethics in a Global Perspective. -- Theories of Ethics. -- Are Theories of Ethics Global? -- Can Theories of Ethics Encourage People to Do the Right Thing? -- 2 Autonomy and Informed Consent in Global Perspective. -- Ethical Principles and Practical Issues of Informed Consent. -- Does Informed Consent Really Matter to Patients? -- Is Informed Consent a Universal Principle or a Cultural Value? -- 3 (...) Withholding or Withdrawing Treatment and Physician-Assisted Suicide. -- Withholding or Withdrawing Treatment at the End of Life. -- Assisting Patients in Committing Suicide. -- 4 Ethical Issues in Reproductive Health. -- Ethics of Abortion in Different Times, Places, and Cultures. -- Current Ethical Issues in Abortion. -- Assisted Reproductive Technology and Stem Cell Research. -- Emergency Contraception. -- Ethics of Imposing Conditions on Funding. -- 5 Ethical Issues of Female Genital Mutilation. -- The Facts About FGM. -- FGM as a Challenge to Ethical Relativism. -- Ethics of FGM for Adult Women. -- 6 Ethical Issues of Research with Human Subjects. -- Background Information and the Belmont Report. -- Autonomy and Voluntary Informed Consent. -- Beneficence and Cost-Benefit Analysis. -- Issues of Justice and Fairness for Human Subjects. -- 7 The Right to Health Care, and Ethical Obligations to Provide Care. -- Is There an Ethical Right to Health Care? -- Ethical Obligations of Health Care Professionals. -- Ethical Obligations of for-Profit Health Care Providers. -- 8 Ethical Issues in Rationing and Allocation of Limited Resources. -- Levels of Allocating Resources. -- Methods of Rationing Health Resources. -- Comparative Effectiveness Research and Cost-Effectiveness Analysis. -- 9 Ethical Issues of Health Insurance and Health System Reform. -- Ethical Issues in Financing Health Services and Designing Insurance Systems. -- Fundamental Values of Health Systems. -- 10 Ethical Issues in the Movement of Patients Across National Borders. -- Ethical Duties to Provide Health Care to Undocumented Aliens. -- Ethical Issues in Medical Tourism. -- 11 Ethical Issues in the Movement of Health Care Professionals Across National Borders. -- Ethical Issues in the Migration of Health Professionals. -- Proposed Solutions and Their Ethical Implications. -- Fair Treatment of Health Care Workers from Other Countries. -- 12 Corruption and Informal Payments in Health Systems. -- Payment of Informal Fees by Patients and Their Families. -- Is Corruption Bad for Your (and Other People's) Health? -- References. -- Index. (shrink)
Using two samples drawn from contrasting developed and developing countries, this investigation considers the powerful, unique Millennial consumer group and their engagement in ethical consumerism. Specifically, this study explores the levers that promote their ethical consumption and the potential impact of country of residence on cause-related purchase decisions. Three distinct subgroups of ethical consumers emerge among Millennials, providing insight into their concerns and behaviors. Instead of being conceptualized as a single niche market, Millennials should be treated as a collection of (...) submarkets that differ in their levels of awareness of ethical issues, consider discrete motives when making consumption decisions, and are willing to engage in cause-related purchasing to varying degrees. These findings have several critical implications for theory and practice. (shrink)
This paper argues that Sulmasy and Sugarman have not succeeded in showing a moral difference between withholding and withdrawing treatment. In particular, they have misunderstood historical entitlement theory, which does not automatically prefer a first occupant by just acquisition.
Next SectionIncreasingly a focus of research as well as media reports and online forums, the use of placebos in clinical medicine extends beyond sugar pills and saline injections. Physician surveys conducted in various countries invariably report that placebos are routinely used clinically, impure placebos more frequently than the pure ones, and that physicians consider them to be of legitimate therapeutic value. Inconsistent study methodologies and physician conceptualisations of placebos may complicate the interpretation of survey data, but hardly negate the valuable (...) insights these research findings provide. Because impure placebos are often not recognised as such by practitioners, they remain at the fringe of many placebo-related debates, hence quietly absent from discussions concerning policy and regulation. The apparent popularity of impure placebos used in clinical practice thus presents unresolved ethical concerns and should direct future discussion and research. (shrink)
`Social theory is a very difficult subject to teach and it is one that students generally find hard to get to grips with. Teaching Yourself Social Theory offers a highly original and comprehensive resource that will be welcomed by students and teachers alike' - Barry Smart, University of Portsmouth `I have no hesitation in recommending Harris' text to students and teachers of social theory' - Sociology This refreshing and accessible text demonstrates how social theory can be made into an (...) intelligible discourse that touches upon key aspects of everyday life. The abstraction and formalism of much contemporary social theory is criticized as unnecessarily `scholastic' for the beginner. The author maintains that the main problems in studying the subject are not intrinsic to social theory, but derive from how the subject is taught as a university discipline. This lively book uses non-specialist terms to introduce more complex themes, and incorporates a Website with questions and reading guides to some of the classic works. (shrink)
This paper reports the results of a pilot study of differences in ethical evaluations between business faculty and students at a Southern university. Data were collected from 137 business students (46 freshmen and 67 seniors) and 34 business faculty members. Significant differences were found in 7 of the 30 situations between freshmen and faculty and four situations between seniors and faculty. When the combined means for each group were tested, there was no significant difference in the means at the 0.05 (...) level of significance. A trend was revealed, however, in that the majority of the time faculty members were the most ethically oriented followed by seniors and then freshmen. (shrink)
This article focuses on 'improving' schools in difficult or disadvantaged contexts. It explores the contemporary policy discourse and intervention strategies aimed at improving schools in such circumstances. It argues that contemporary approaches to improvement are unlikely to succeed because the approaches adopted are not sufficiently differentiated or context specific. Drawing on two recent empirical studies, the article offers an alternative perspective on school improvement within this group of schools. It argues against standardised solutions in favour of a differentiated approach to (...) school improvement that recognises and respects the diversity, variability and complexity of schools in difficult contexts. (shrink)
In her article, Pascale Hess raises the issue of whether her proposed model may be extrapolated and applied to clinical research fields other than stem cell-based interventions in the brain (SCBI-B) (Hess 2012). Broadly summarized, Hess’s model suggests prioritizing efficacy over safety in phase 1 trials involving irreversible interventions in the brain, when clinical criteria meet the appropriate population suffering from “degenerative brain diseases” (Hess 2012). Although there is a need to reconsider the traditional phase 1 model, especially with respect (...) to first-in-human clinical trials involving novel technologies, the question arises as to whether it is appropriate to advocate for a new model that prioritizes efficacy over safety across all phase 1 clinical research trials involving irreversible interventions in the brain. -/- . (shrink)
A general practice research project on ethics is underway at the University of New South Wales, funded by GPEP (General Practice Evaluation Program, Commonwealth Department of Human Services and Health, GPEP 386). Ethical issues, as defined and explored by general practitioners and consumers, are being examined across four areas of Sydney.So far, telephone interviews have been conducted (64% response rate) with a random sample of general practitioners (GPs). Face-to-face interviews have been conducted with 107 consumers, randomly sampled using ABS collection (...) district information. Focus groups have been formed to discuss acceptable solutions to GP and consumer identified ethical issues. This report will report on some preliminary findings to date and will explore professional and consumer roles in the formation of ethical solutions. (shrink)
Age-related declines in processing speed are hypothesized to underlie the widespread changes in cognition experienced by older adults. We used a structural covariance approach to identify putative neural networks that underlie age-related structural changes associated with processing speed for 42 adults ranging in age from 19-79 years. To characterize a mechanism by which age-related gray matter changes lead to slower processing speed, we examined the extent to which cerebral small vessel disease influenced the association between age-related gray matter changes and (...) processing speed. A frontal pattern of gray matter and white matter variation that was related to cerebral small vessel disease, as well as a cerebellar pattern of gray matter and white matter variation were uniquely related to age-related declines in processing speed. These results demonstrate that at least 2 distinct factors affect age-related changes in processing speed, which might be slowed by mitigating cerebral small vessel disease and factors affecting declines in cerebellar morphology. (shrink)
This essay attempts to provide a useful research agenda for researchers in both strategic management and business ethics. We motivate this agenda by suggesting that the two fields started with similar interests, diverged, and are beginning to converge again. We then identify several streams that hold particular promise for developing our understanding of the relationship between strategy and ethics: stakeholder theory, managerial discretion, behavioral strategy, strategy as practice, and environmental sustainability.